Miami’s excellent failing ACE program

TO THE EDITOR: International students whose English fluency is below Miami’s minimum proficiency requirement are conditionally admitted to a one-semester American Culture and English (ACE) program, where they take a number of classes. These classes, according to the program’s website, are “designed to help international undergraduate students develop the English language skills they need to succeed at Miami University.”  The program enrolls hundreds of students each fall. Viewed in terms of the extraordinarily high grades given in ACE classes (available online at the Registrar’s website), the program is wildly successful:  this past fall, half of the grades assigned in 13 ACE classes were A’s.  In one class, 75 percent of the students enrolled received a grade of A+; in another class, 53 percent of the students were assigned an A+.  For all ACE classes combined, nearly 40 percent of grades assigned were A’s.  Judged by sky-high grades, these students are superbly prepared to succeed in regular Miami courses. But the experience when they enroll in our introductory economics classes strongly suggests otherwise: many of them lack the rudimentary English fluency needed to pass the class and drop the course. Six years into an ACE program that boasts a faculty of 26 instructors, something seems amiss:  ACE grades tell international students they are exceptionally well-prepared to succeed at Miami, but their actual English-language ability and experience in regular classes tells...

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To change the drinking culture, we must demand more from students

To the editor: Miami’s drinking problem is about as well concealed as photos of students on Facebook with emojis edited over the Trashcans in their hands. We can see this crisis in the “Natty Light” cans erupting from lawns like spring mushrooms, jersey-clad students strolling Uptown on a sunny Saturday afternoon amid headlines reporting sexual assaults, injuries and death. This year, our conversation surrounding recent tragedies has been earnest, compassionate and forward-thinking, but it has also continued to be disempowered by a firm student culture that sees blackout drinking as inevitable and individual. It doesn’t take a visionary to...

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Protesting is a necessary part of democracy

The following piece, written by the editorial editors, reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board. Protesting corrupt regimes seems to be all the rage right now, both here and abroad. After the Romanian government issued a decree to rescind a decree that had decriminalized some corruption offenses on Saturday, mistrust of the corrupt regime led half a million citizens to take to the streets in lively protest. The New York Times reported that of the half million, about a quarter had gathered in the capital of the former Communist nation, Bucharest, bent on influencing the democratically elected month-old...

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When will we realize that we’re not invincible?

By Ceili Doyle, Senior Staff Writer I’ve spent the last two weeks thinking a lot about death. Ever since Erica Buschick died. We college students think we’re so invulnerable. As a collective, we believe, as teenagers and twenty-somethings, that nothing and no one can touch us. We binge more frequently and with more intensity than any generation before us, and despite our mind-over-matter mentality, we also die more frequently than any generation before us. A student on our campus died. She was eighteen years old and she is gone. But that fact does not seem to resonate with many people at Miami. We continue to plan our fraternity and sorority four-ways. At our Thursday night pregames, we never consider the possibility of an alternative event. We wake up, beat, darty, nap and repeat every Saturday. This is not to say that all college students are at risk of throwing their lives away in the name of getting “fucked up” for one night. But we place so much emphasis on drinking and going out and fitting this image of ~college~ as a time of no caution, no excuses, no reservations — and we forget there is a world outside of drowning our social lives with four, five, six shots on the side. We laugh at Facebook videos and share tweets that depict strangers downing bottles of Hennessey and entire fifths...

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New albums: Migos capitalizes on party culture, Kid Cudi continues to disappoint

Migos, “Culture” It may be heavy-handed to say that Migos reached their current popularity thanks to the Internet, but there is some truth behind the statement. To be fair, the Atlanta trap trio have consistently increased their fan base with each subsequent release since their 2011 debut mixtape. But since then, Migos has been less interested in reaching multiple demographics and more focused on exploring their own community, which is probably best summarized by Migos’ favorite self-description, “Young Rich N***as.” However, social media follows no discernible patterns in its selection of the next trending topic, and inexplicably, the first...

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